Ray-Ban Stories

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Three similar smart glass products, Google Glass (left), Ray-Ban Stories (center), Snap Spectacles (right).

Ray-Ban Stories are wearable computers, with the facility to record audio and video, mounted in a pair of glasses.[1][2][3] The product is a collaboration between EssilorLuxottica, a manufacturer of eyewear, and facebook.[4]

The glasses can also play podcasts, and streaming audio, for the wearer.[2]

They have been compared to Google Glass, a similar product introduced with great fanfare, by Google, only to be the target of ridicule.[1][2] In contrast to Google Glass, which came equipped with a small but very densely packed visual display, the first version of Ray-Ban Stories interacts with the wearer only through audio feedback.

An announcement, in 2019, did list a user display.[5] Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg continues to speak of plans to introduce more featureful versions, which would "augment reality", with an user display.

The glasses have triggered privacy concerns.[1][2] Facebook's app setup reminds wearers to respect the privacy of those around them, but the product's built-in assistant is designed to silently forward to forward audio and video to headquarters. While facebook has a long history of disrespecting their user's privacy, and selling data acquired about their users to marketers, they promised that, this time, the monitoring is solely for product improvement.

In its review Tech Crunch said the audio and video recordings made by the glasses were only "middling" quality.[4] The glasses are equipped with a pair of 5 megapixel cameras.[6] An LED is alit when the cameras are in operation.

CNBC noted that the glasses looked like normal glasses, and would not be an embarrassment to wear, like rivals Google Glass and Snap Spectacles.[6]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Queenie Wong (2021-09-09). "'Hey Facebook, take a photo': The social network's smart glasses are here". CNET. Archived from the original on 2021-09-09. https://web.archive.org/web/20210909235231/https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/hey-facebook-take-a-photo-the-social-networks-smart-glasses-are-here/. Retrieved 2021-09-10. "'They're not yet augmented reality glasses,' Zuckerberg said, referring to technology that places digital images on someone's view of the real world. 'They're on the road there.'" 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mike Isaac (2021-09-09). "Smart Glasses Made Google Look Dumb. Now Facebook Is Giving Them a Try.". The New York Times (San Francisco, California): p. B1. Archived from the original on 2021-09-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20210910035854/https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/technology/facebook-wayfarer-stories-smart-glasses.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes. Retrieved 2021-09-10. "The process was instant, simple, unobtrusive — and it was powered by Facebook, which has teamed up with Ray-Ban. Their new line of eyewear, called Ray-Ban Stories and unveiled on Thursday, can take photos, record video, answer phone calls and play music and podcasts." 
  3. Brett Molina (2021-09-09). "Facebook smart glasses: What it's like to wear Ray-Ban Stories". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2021-09-09. https://web.archive.org/web/20210909210517/https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2021/09/09/facebook-smart-glasses-ray-ban-stories-latest-social-gadget/5771651001/. Retrieved 2021-09-10. "I've had a pair of Ray-Ban Stories for a couple days now. Obviously, when you hear "smart glasses" you might think Google Glass. But what Facebook and Ray-Ban have rolled out is more akin to early versions of Spectacles, eyewear introduced in 2016 by Snapchat parent company Snap." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lucas Matney (2021-09-09). "Review: Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories make the case for smart glasses". Tech Crunch. Archived from the original on 2021-09-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20210910012614/https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/09/facebooks-first-smart-glasses-make-the-case-for-face-worn-wearables/. Retrieved 2021-09-10. "The glasses made in partnership with eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica are certainly the most basic device Facebook has shipped. They only do a few things: You can take photos and videos; you can take phone calls; and you can listen to music. That’s it." 
  5. Salvador Rodriguez (2019-09-17). "Facebook working on smart glasses with Ray-Ban, code-named ‘Orion’". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2021-08-02. https://web.archive.org/web/20210802143845/https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/17/facebook-enlists-ray-ban-maker-luxottica-to-make-orion-ar-glasses.html. Retrieved 2021-09-10. "he glasses are internally codenamed Orion, and they are designed to replace smartphones, the people said. The glasses would allow users to take calls, show information to users in a small display and live-stream their vantage point to their social media friends and followers." 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Salvador Rodriguez (2021-09-09). "Facebook just announced its new Ray-Ban glasses — I’ve been using them for a couple of days, here’s what they’re lik". CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/09/facebook-ray-ban-stories-smart-glasses-review.html. Retrieved 2021-09-10. "Augmented reality features, which let you overlay digital content on top of the real world, are notably absent. You don’t see anything different when you look through them. Facebook had previously warned that AR capabilities would be missing from the Ray-Ban glasses, but the lack of AR feels like a disappointment, especially after Snap added AR to the latest iteration of its Spectacles in May."